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table in all ; the very least degree of it partaketh of the nature of the whole.
And shall I harbour that in my bosom which turned angels out of heaven, man out of paradise, and hath thrown the whole world into confusion ? Forbid it, O God, and clothe me with its opposite, humility.
But what is pride ? It is an insolent selfconceit; an unquenchable thirst for pre-eminence, which always hath for its concomitant, envy, that continually gnaws, not the bones, but the soul of its possessor.
The devil fisheth with this hook in the little stream of childhood, as well as in the stronger current of yonth, and settled pool of old age. . Pride discovereth itself in children, by their passions, and resentments against their little companions, for injuries and affronts which they either really have, or imagine to have received ; and by their dissatisfaction at seeing any of their peers caressed above, or even equal with themselves ; a conceit of being thought beautiful, a taste for fine clothes, and
the like; which early sproutings of pride, parents or tutors not checking in the bud, but rather, on the contrary, fostering by laughing at, and indulging them in such follies, it groweth apace with them, as they advance in life, and too often, it is much to be feared, terminateth in their destruction.
But turn, my thoughts ! O turn to a more solemn, yet far less irksome subject. Yonder well plumed hearse, nodding as it cometh, with two mourning coaches, attended by a few in sable, gravely mounted, bringeth not the news only, but the evidences of mortality along.
Let me step towards the highway, and inquire whose remains this is; and while I am informed of the mournful tale, learn to prepare for my own dissolution.
Ah! and is this the direful case? I am shocked at the dreadful story! having been just informed by one of the attendants, that this is the corpse of a young gentleman, who the other evening being at the theatre, (that splendid nursery of vice) imagined himself to have received an affront from a young officer in the army, who passing by the box in which the young gentleman sat to a neighbouring one, the cane below his arm accidentally tipped the young gentleman in the cheek, who happened to be leaning that way; at which, supposing himself highly affronted in the presence of some young ladies near him, fired with pride immediately left the house, sent a challenge to the officer, to settle the affront by an affair of honour, when the young gentleman was shot.
Ah! the folly of indulging pride, and to what degrees of wickedness doth it drive men! Could we now for a moment remove the covering of the other world, it is not improbable, but we might see this young man, with many thousands more in hell, cursing their parents and tutors for not checking that pride in early life, which was the means, , the awful means of landing them in torA good way farther down the river side, I observe several persons together, close by its brink, and some apparently in the water itself.:: My curiosity is excited to know what they are doing; and in order to discover this, let me walk a little down the flowery bank to yonder eminence, which rises at a little distance from the side of the river, from the summit of which I may clearly perceive what they are engaged in, without intruding myself upon them.
How charming is the spring, and how delightful this verdant walk! but pleasanter far the sources of contemplation which offer themselves to the mind.
From this little height I now discover with pleasure what those persons are employed about: They are fishing ; but the scene is agreeably changed; that before was angling, but this with a net; which putteth me in mind of the gospel, that is in scripture beautifully compared to a net, and the preachers of it to fishermen. Matt. xiii. 47, Mark, i. 17.
In what respects the gospel, or kingdom of heaven, is compared to a net, and the preachers thereof to fishermen, are at present under
Yonder net is just let down, or rather cast into the water, in order that it may enclose and bring to land many of the finny tribe ; so the gospel, or glad tidings, is sent down from heaven to earth, and spread forth in the world by the ambassadors of Jesus, in order that sinners may be enclosed in it, and thereby drawn out of an estate of sin and misery, and troubled sea of human life, to the shores of eternal bliss.
The mesh of that net, I perceive, is only suited to catch fish of a certain size; all below which (though the net surround them all alike) remain without being caught. In like manner, though the gospel net be spread far and wide by the preachers of it, and freely offered to sinners of every description, none but the elect are enclosed therein, and brought to heaven: And that the rest of mankind are not caught by it, is not owing